CARING FOR YOUR LEATHER
SADDLE OR TACK
Each AH Saddle is distinctive as the hides from which they have been specially hand crafted are prepared using a tanning process that brings to life the natural features of each skin. Taking proper care of your AH leather saddle will greatly enhance their appearance and lifespan. All new pieces of leather must be properly treated in order to prolong their life and help maintain their natural oils.
Please condition your new saddle before first use and once or twice again during the 14 day trial period. This means rubbing conditioner thoroughly into all areas paying particular attention to the top of the saddle and contact areas.
Before using your new saddle in the rain, please make sure it is fully sealed with leather conditioner to protect it from the rain, failure to do so could result in damage to the leather. If you have used your saddle in the rain, it must be left to dry naturally then heavily conditioned and left to soak in for 24 hours, if it still appears dry apply another coat of conditioner before use.
We only recommend conditioner from Sedgwick, leather suppliers in Walsall, as well as a hand made conditioner from www.unicornleather.co.uk. These conditioners do not contain petroleum distillate solvents which damage leather but instead are rich in beeswax, lanolin and animal fats all of which protect and feed the leather. A 500ml tub would roughly last a year for one saddle and bridle.
Caring for leather is always a two stage process. Cleaning the dirt off is best done with hand-hot or warm water and an old fashioned knitted cotton dishcloth and a bit of elbow grease.
Once clean you can condition your saddle on all surfaces. It is critical that you feed the girth straps so that they are never at risk of cracking and breaking, not just the upper surface of the saddle. Conditioner on the top of the saddle will protect from the weather and lubricate where stirrup leathers rub, but conditioner applied to the reverse, more open, side of the thick leathers, will actually feed it. The underside of the flaps can also mark, conditioner applied to all surfaces will help prevent this, including the reverse of the upper edge of the buckle guard, if your saddle has them. Thinner leathers on the seat, knee pads and the panels underneath need less conditioning.
If the saddle gets very wet clean it first then dry slowly away from any direct heat. It can be useful to condition it while still very slightly damp as it seals in moisture. More than one application may be required to restore shine.
Once the conditioner has dried (allow 3 hours minimum for proper drying, overnight is better) then the saddle can be buffed if you like a highly finished surface.
The panel of all our saddles is filled with high quality pure grey British wool and it must be maintained carefully. To avoid denting the panel please store on an old fashioned wooden saddle rack, or a pole rack, protecting the smooth leather on the gullet from any damage from friction. “Wire” style more modern saddle racks can dent the panels and we recommend heavily padding them, an old pillow taped around the rack is ideal.
Always keep the cover on your saddle when not in use and should not be put on doors, gates etc without padding. Leaning your saddle up against a hard surface will damage the leathers on the knee pads or the cantle or both.
It is very important that the wool that is put into your saddle panel when it is re-flocked is always of the same type. Mixed flocking can result in the flocking becoming lumpy and hard. We recommend you use an AH Specialist saddle fitter for the re-flocking of your saddle.